Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Teach a Child

I have been ramming my head against the wall- trapped between this huge rock and a really hard spot. My kiddo #1 is struggling in middle school. It is painful and frustrating, overwhelming and distressing. I feel "lost in the system". When i seek help the response i receive is that my child is responsible for his own education, that he is being lazy, and they frown upon his excitement to answer every question. The mama bear in me jumps to the defensive....very, very quickly...and demands to know why an 11 year old is tasked with the responsibility of his own education. I sarcastically ponder why wouldn't an educator be thrilled to have a student that is so excited to learn? And my protective instinct requisitions answers, answers, answers. My perception is (and perception is reality!)  "we can't care about we won't care about anyone".

I struggle with these thoughts that bounce around in my head. My son has been left beat down, dumped in a hole, and ordered to figure out his exit....all by himself. I want my son-all of my sons- to love school, to love learning, to enjoy these years of growing up. But I am now left with uncertainty in the process or the outcome of success. Shouldn't we strive to reach each child? Idealistic? of course it is, but shouldn't that be the goal? On the contrary, I and my son are left to drudge through these middle school trenches without navigational assistance. We are told he needs to talk less, listen more, and that life isnt' fair. Boy that's an undersimplification of a life's lesson! Whatever happened to the prospect of transition, assistance, and genuine concern about the student's positive experience. Lost is the sincere regard to the child's ability and potential to achieve and experience success. At least this is my

I am obviously disheartened and do not mean any disrespect to those in the educational field...although I'm sure that is how it is perceived. Shockingly, my husband taught for many the middle school my son now attends. There in lies a big problem. Sides inevitably will be taken...I on my son's, hubby on the teacher's. I have many friends and family members that teach, and I'm sure they are doing the absolute best that they can. And I'm sure that after reading this I have most certainly been marked as "that mother".

There are too many kids and not enough teachers or money to fund education properly. I get that- let's address that. We can take sides, we can dig our heels in and butt our heads together vowing not to budge on our beliefs. But there in the middle, lost, scared, confused is a young boy. He's not just another student. He is my son. He has a huge heart and would run in front of a moving car for his little brothers....or your child! He needs to here "I love you" and be reassured that he is valuable and validated that he is important in this world. He stands up to bullies and gets bullied because he does so. He has certain character flaws that need molding, shaping, and possibly some preening and tweaking (don't we all?). His name is Tyler. At home, he goes by Ty-guy.

We can get all wrapped up in agenda and policies, theory and points of view. My my view points to my son. I have always advocated for public schools, it's potential for success, and the teacher's who give their life's work to the success of children. I am not "that mother". I am a mother, and I, like all parents, want my kid to fell like he matters and to experience success- whatever that is specific to him.

I realize I am stirring-the-pot, so to speak. And that many are going to spit my way, label my student, and stand their ground. But the problem will not get addressed and the solution will never be found. We need to work together instead of argue about who's right and who's wrong. I am speaking from my perception and experience. I am begging....someone please help us!

Let's focus on the person, the child, the individual...they all have a story; they all have fears; they all have joys; and they all deserve our best.


Kathleen said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless about getting what you need for your child. Don't give up. Keep asking questions. Involve more people. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wow. An 11 year old is supposed to act like an adult??? Why are we paying taxes for then. Maybe the teacher should teach for free. =) Don't give up just be a pain if you have to.

Teresa Choplin @ tchoplin2009(at)gmail(dot)com said...

I'm here from the Blog Hop. I'm your newest follower, please follow me back. I am new so please be patient with me, Thanks

Elena Sonnino said...

yes, yes, and yes! As an elementary school teacher, I think more parents should advocate for their children. The schools are...imperfect and some times even the best of people forget that children regardless of ability, are people. Whether it is for special education, gifted education, or anywhere in between--there are those that feel the need to label, label, label (parents included) and the processes have become so ridiculous to set up consistent, frequent, and appropriate methods to meet the needs of students.

Carrie said...

Hey! I linked you from Crystal's blog. That's cool you've got your tribe all set. I'm in the lazy blog category but it's technically called something else, I probably won't get around to it. :)


Gretchen said...

Crystal, your post today makes me so sad. Sad for you and sad for me. I know what you're going through. My son is the same way. I never know who to side with... i don't want to be that mother who makes excuses for her child and never accepts that he's ever in the wrong; at the same time I don't want to blindly trust the school and their discipline. I know my son's heart and while he may need guidance, I question if he's getting guidance or if he's instead getting humiliated and having his spirit crushed. I just don't know if I can be objective enough to figure it out on my own. I don't know if my gut is telling me the right thing anymore because I love him fiercely and I'm afraid that may overshadow my good judgment. I just pray for you that you get it figured out because Lord knows I sure haven't yet!! LOL

Rheanna Bristol said...

Thanks for visiting me. I enjoy reading your posts. My mom did the same for my sister. It is because of that she graduated. Don't give up. Your a good mom.
Have a great week!

sara said...

I am reading some of your older posts, that I missed! You are soooo right! This is the way I figure it, while I also hate to be labeled "that mother." What is most important to me is my child and getting the best for him or her! I don't care if the teacher's or the school like me, but I do care if I fail my child. That is NOT an option! So don't give up!